• Entrepreneurs Invited to Pitch Business Idea at Hatch; Community Encouraged to Attend in Support

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    October 15, 2019
    HATCH, an entrepreneurial pitch program, is returning to central Wisconsin this fall. Selected businesses will pitch their ideas to a live audience at an event held at John and Patty Noel’s Car Barn on November 13 from 6:00-8:30 PM. Applications to pitch are required and registration to attend is requested.
    HATCH events in three regions are being spearheaded by BrightStar Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), though an entrepreneurship support grant. The Portage County Business Council is leading this effort in central Wisconsin.
    “Brightstar and WEDC were impressed with the success that HATCH had the past two years in supporting entrepreneurs in central Wisconsin and we look forward to seeing the same results with this innovative program again in 2019,” said Thomas M. Shannon, President & CEO, Brightstar Wisconsin Foundation,. “We are pleased to partner with WEDC to be able to provide more resources to entrepreneurs through programs like HATCH.”
    HATCH is a rotating, high-energy idea pitch program designed to facilitate connections between prospective entrepreneurs and those within a community who support them such as industry experts, professional service firms, banks, non-profits, business leaders and investors. Last year’s Central Wisconsin finale had more than 300 people in attendance. Several individuals or teams of individuals have the opportunity to pitch their best business idea to a panel of judges while substantive connections and networking occurs between attendees.
    “We are excited to bring HATCH back to Central Wisconsin.” said Todd Kuckkahn, Executive Director at Portage County Business Council. “Our communities are known for their entrepreneurial spirit and the support the last two years made it an easy decision for HATCH to come back. The chambers and entrepreneurial organizations in the Centergy and Grow North regions are really stepping up. We have a unique and fun location and are excited for our jurors to select the $5,000 grand prize winner, along with the $2,500 winner for second place, $1,000 for third and $500 for the People’s Choice.”  
    There is no cost to attend the event, however registration is requested to make sure there is enough food and beverage. To register and attend, go to https://tinyurl.com/attendhatch or www.portagecountybiz.com/events. The ever popular “after party” location where attendees can network more with the participants and winners will be announced at the event.
    Brightstar is accepting applications from entrepreneurs who are interested in presenting their business ideas for the HATCH finale. To submit an idea, go to: www.tinyurl.com/hatch2019. All submissions must be received by October 21.  
    Financial supporters of this event include Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, Brightstar Wisconsin Foundation, Portage County Business Council, Compass Properties, John and Patty Noel, Judd S. Alexander Foundation, Ruder Ware, Incourage Community Foundation, BMO Harris Bank and Grow North Economic Development Region.
    Outside of Central Wisconsin, Brightstar Wisconsin is facilitating two other HATCH programs; one in the Chippewa Valley and one in the New North region. The Chippewa Valley program is in its second year and will hold the regional finale on Thursday, October 17. For more information, go to www.chippewa-wi.com. The New North events are a new additional this year. A regional finale for that area will be held on Thursday, December 5. For more information, go to www.thenewnorth.com. Qualifying regional events are being scheduled in both regions.
    For questions about HATCH, contact Fred Raasch at fraasch@brightstarwi.org or for central Wisconsin, contact Kayla Rombalski at talent@portagecountybiz.com
    About Portage County Business Council-Where Economic Vitality Meets Quality of Life
    The Portage County Business Council is the preeminent leader in economic development and community growth.  The priorities for our members and the community are retention and attraction of businesses and employees.  That is accomplished through engagement, growth, innovation, leadership, network development and partnerships. www.portagecountybiz.com
    About the BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation, Inc.
    BrightStar is a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation created to facilitate job creation and increase Wisconsin’s economic activity by deploying donated funds into equity stakes in early-stage, rapid growth companies. This unique approach is enabling the formation of new investment capital in Wisconsin through charitable donations to the foundation. Contributions to BrightStar are tax deductible. www.brightstarwi.org
    About the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC)
    WEDC leads economic development efforts for the state by providing resources, operational support and financial assistance to companies, partners and communities in Wisconsin. Working with more than 600 partners across the state, including regional economic development organizations, academic institutions and industry clusters, WEDC develops and delivers solutions that help businesses, communities and people maximize their potential In Wisconsin. https://inwisconsin.com/